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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Berv 8II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Bersǫglisvísur 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 19.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonBersǫglisvísur

text and translation

Fǫður Magnúss létk fregna
folgin jǫfurs dolga
orð, þaus eyru heyrðu
ór, á svik hvé fóru.
Mál bark hvert af heilum
hug, þvít eigi brugðumk
(ek vissa þó) ossum
(ótta) lánardróttni.

Létk {fǫður Magnúss} fregna folgin orð dolga jǫfurs, þaus eyru ór heyrðu, hvé fóru á svik. Bark hvert mál af heilum hug, þvít eigi brugðumk lánardróttni ossum; ek vissa þó ótta.
‘I let Magnús’s father [= Óláfr Haraldsson] hear the hidden words of the prince’s enemies, which our [my] ears heard, how they plotted deceit. I carried each message with a candid heart, because I did not betray our liege-lord; I nonetheless knew there was danger.

notes and context

In his capacity as Óláfr’s court poet and retainer, Sigvatr served as his envoy to foreign rulers, and he also warned him of domestic treason (ÍF 27, 121-3). — [7, 8] lánardróttni ossum ‘our liege-lord’: Skj B takes this with the first cl. of the helmingr. Ossum ‘our’ could also be taken in the sense ‘my’ here. For the infamy connected with high treason, see Note to Þflekk Lv [12].



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Sigvatr Þórðarson, 11. Bersǫglisvísur 7: AI, 253, BI, 236, Skald I, 122, NN §1114; Fms 6, 41 (ch. 22); Louis-Jensen 1970b, 148-9, Flat 1860-8, III, 268, Mork 1928-32, 28, Andersson and Gade 2000, 106, 467 (MH); Jón Skaptason 1983, 144, 290-1.


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